LEARNING TO BE LESS SENSITIVE IS IMPORTANT EMOTIONALLY

If you tend to be a highly sensitive person, you are more likely to sense social threats.

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Following steps are helpful:

Learn to Regulate Your Emotions

Emotional regulation is the ability to control your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Having this ability allows you to manage feelings of distress and disruptive emotions. Strengthening this ability can help you feel less sensitive and put feelings in perspective before acting on them.One strategy for regulating emotions effectively is to utilize cognitive reframing to change how you think and feel about different situations. This process involves intentionally reinterpreting a situation to control your emotional reaction to it.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves learning how to focus fully on the present moment without worrying about the past or future. Evidence has found that mindfulness can have a beneficial effect on conditions that are characterized by emotional dysregulation.If you want to become less sensitive, mindfulness can boost self-awareness and improve your ability to regulate your emotions. This process takes time and effort, so consider setting aside some each day to practice.

Try Journaling

Journaling about your emotional experiences can be a great way to gain more insight into how you feel and respond to the events in your life. By writing down your feelings, you can better make sense of what you are experiencing. Some ways that journaling can help you become less sensitive include:

Journaling can give you greater distance from your emotions. By stepping back and looking at what you are feeling more objectively, you’ll be better able to gauge whether your reaction is appropriate and realistic.

 

Don’t Take Things Personally

Personalization is a cognitive bias that can often contribute to heightened sensitivity. This bias causes people to take everything personally, blaming themselves for things that are not their fault.

One way to combat this tendency is to actively challenge negative thoughts. When you find yourself taking something too personally, ask yourself:

  • Are there other factors involved that are also to blame?
  • Are you jumping to conclusions or reading too much into what other people do or say?
  • What are some alternative ways of thinking about the situation?

You can combat a tendency to take things to personally by working to give people the benefit of the doubt. Remember that they might not mean things the way they sound or that you might have misunderstood. Positive self-talk and focusing on your strengths can also help you feel less sensitive to such comments.

Practice Self-Acceptance

Highly sensitive people are also sometimes highly self-critical. By learning to be more self-accepting, people can combat the inner fear that always has them looking for signs of criticism, judgment, or rejection.

To be more self-accepting, look for ways to:

  • Embrace yourself for who you are, including both your good quality and your negative ones.
  • Recognize your strengths and appreciate them, but don’t try to compare yourself to others.
  • Set boundaries for what you are willing and not willing to accept.
  • Keep a positive outlook and focus on using positive self-talk and affirmations to boost yourself up.
  • Forgive yourself for the mistakes you may have made in the past; acknowledge the mistake and move on.

Learn to Tolerate Distress

Criticism hurts, even when it is constructive or comes from a trusted source.

For example, you might be upset if you ask a friend for a favor and they turn you down. If your distress tolerance is poor, you might get upset and tell yourself that your friend doesn’t really care.

Good distress tolerance, on the other hand, would help you manage these feelings in the moment so that you can look at them with a greater perspective later on. Instead of getting upset, you might tell yourself that your friend is busy and that you’ll ask again some other time.

Tactics that can improve your distress tolerance when you are feeling overly sensitive include:

  • Staying busy to distract yourself from distressing emotions.
  • Focusing your attention on someone else instead of ruminating on negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Participating in an activity you enjoy to help soothe and give yourself comfort.
  • Doing something to inspire opposing emotions, such as watching a funny movie or reading an exciting book.

 

 While you cannot eliminate all criticism, there are strategies you can use to improve your ability to tolerate the sting of it.

Benefits of Being Less Sensitive

While being sensitive has advantages, being too sensitive can create challenges in different areas of your life. Sensitivity means your feelings are easily hurt, often unintentionally. Finding ways to be less sensitive, at least in some ways, can benefit you in a variety of ways:

  • You’re less likely to feel hurt: Emotional hurts can lead to shame, embarrassment, self-doubt, and low confidence. You might become anxious about interacting with others, even to the point that you avoid social situations to prevent having your feelings hurt. Being less sensitive can help minimize the risk of feeling hurt by social slights.
  • You’ll feel less anxious: If you’re always worried about feeling hurt, you might experience social anxiety. This can ultimately lead to poor self-extreme, loneliness, isolation, depression, and poor social support. Being less sensitive can help you to feel less anxious about social situations.
  • You’ll experience fewer conflicts: Another potential pitfall of being too sensitive is having conflicts with others. If you are easily hurt, you might misinterpret others’ words or overreact to minor slights. This can erode interpersonal relationships, leading to arguments and misunderstandings. Letting things go without feeling overly sensitive can minimize these conflicts.
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